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Wilson Says 'Suspensions' Will Not Require Blacks To Leave Dorms, Classes


None of the students "suspended" by Dean May Thursday during the occupation of University Hall will be required to vacate his University room or stop attending classes as part of his temporary discipline.

May and the members of the Subcommittee of Six-who together exercise the power of "temporary suspension" -decided yesterday morning only to order the suspended students not to enter University buildings they do not need to enter for "scheduled academic exercises," and to warn them that they would face harsher penalties for further violations of the Resolution on Rights and Responsibilities.

James Q. Wilson, professor of Government and chairman of the Subcommittee of Six, told reporters yesterday that "no useful purpose would be served" by attaching harsher terms to the temporary suspensions.

May ordered the suspensions of nearly 100 members and supporters of the Organization for Black Unity (OBU) while the group was still in University Hall Thursday afternoon. He named five OBU leaders and warned the other students in the building that they would face similar penalties.

Monday, May will give Wilson a list of students he or other University officials saw in the building Thursday. Wilson will send each of them a letter from the Committee on Rights and Responsibilities informing him of his temporary suspension.

Wilson said yesterday that he did not know how many students May would identify besides the five he named Thursday.

Wilson also said that the Committee on Rights and Responsibilities had finished its hearings in the cases of 25 other students charged with violations following a sit-in in May's office November 19. The Committee will announce its judgments in those cases "early next week," he said.

The Committee could require the students to withdraw from the University or recommend even more severe punishment by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

May's action Thursday was the first time any University officer had invoked the power of temporary suspension, which was authorized by the Faculty at its September 30 meeting. A memorandum of understanding submitted by the Subcommittee of Six to Dean Ford last month stated that "the purpose of temporary suspension is to provide means, stronger than mere warnings but less severe than action by civil authorities, by which to respond to actions that impede the performance of the essential tasks of the University."

In addition to temporary suspension, the students will be subject to the regular disciplinary procedures of the Committee on Rights and Responsibilities.

Wilson said last night that the Committee would begin its formal hearings on the charges to be submitted by May "as soon as possible." but added that he did not think the cases "would be settled until well into reading period."

The suspensions remain in effect until the Committee completes these regular disciplinary actions. During this period, Wilson said, suspended students "are not to go into University buildings, even alone, except their dormitories, libraries, the buildings in which they have classes, and so on."

If a suspended student "wishes to enter other buildings, or specifically University Hall." Wilson said. "he must have the permission of his dean or of the administrative officer who has jurisdiction over the building."

The Issues

The disciplinary proceedings arise "from the actions of demonstrators who were demanding that 20 per cent of the labor force on University construction sites be blacks or third world" workers, and that Harvard promote workers now classified as "painters helpers" to "painters."

On Thursday, OBU occupied University Hall for four and one-half hours in support of these demands. The group left the building after the University obtained a court injunction against the demonstration.

Suspended students who could be reached for comment last night doubted that the terms of the suspension would seriously affect them.

"So what does being suspended mean?" asked Mark Smith '72, one of five named by May at the demonstration. Thursday. "It just means: Look out, Niger, here we come. Being suspended in and of itself means nothing in terms of our individual actions." he said.

Only students in Harvard or Radcliffe College, or in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences can be affected by the actions taken by May and the disciplinary committees. Students enrolled in other graduate schools are subject to the discipline of their own dean or administrative board.

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